A few weeks ago, Shawgi Tell (Nazareth College of Rochester) and I initiated what will be a series of podcasts on education reform. We decided to begin with the topic of school governance and privatization, with a focus on school receivership. We both hope readers find the discussion useful and in particular we hope it inspires more investigation and discussion of receivership and its alternatives.
Here are some facts that may be useful to know as you listen to the podcast.
- In April 2015, Subpart E of Part EE of Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2015 created a new section of State Education Law (§211-f) pertaining to School Receivership.
- In July 2015 State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia Identified 144 public schools to begin implementation of school receivership in New York State.
- Under the receivership law, a school receiver is granted new authority to “turn around” “struggling” schools.
- Receivers are appointed, not elected. They must be approved by the Commissioner.
- Receivers have broad powers that override the authority of students, teachers, parents, principals, and elected school boards. Receivers can also abolish positions.
- In the Buffalo Public School system, the superintendent, Kriner Cash, is the receiver. Among other things, he can involuntarily transfer any teacher any time and change the length of the school day or school year. He can also fire the entire staff, without cause, at a receivership school, change the curriculum and programs, or convert the school to a private charter school.